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Berkeley Springs

Washington
Heritage
Trail



ARCHIVE OF GEORGE WASHINGTON'S WRITINGS ON BERKELEY SPRINGS & VICINITY: 1761

8/26/61 ....letter to Reverend Charles Green sent from Warm Springs.

"These last for 20-25 miles from hence are almost impassible for carriages, not so much from mountainous county (but this in fact is very rugged) as from trees that have fallen across the road and rendered the way intolerable. We arrived here yesterday. I think my fevers a good deal abated tho my pains grow worse and my sleep equally disturbed...

"We found of both sexes about 250 people at this place, full of all manner of diseases and complaints; some of which are benefitted while others find no relief from the waters -- two or three doctors are here, but whether attending as physicians or to drink the water I know not. It is thought the springs will soon begin to lose their virtues, and the weather gets too cold for people not well provided to remain here. They are situated very badly on the east side of a steep mountain and enclosed by hills on all sides, so that the afternoon's sun is hid by 4 o'clock and the fog hangs over us till 9 or 10, like ghosts with occasional great damps and the mornings and evenings to be cool.

"The place I am told and indeed have found it is already, is supplied with provisions of all kinds -- good beef and venison, fine veal, lamb, fowl and all may be bought at almost any time; but lodging may be had on no terms but building them, and I am of the opinion that numbers get more hurt by their manner of lying, than the waters can do them good. Had we not succeeded in getting a tent and marquee from Winchester, we should have been in a most miserable situation here.

"In regard to myself I must beg leave to say, that I was much overcome with fatigue of the ride and weather together -- however I think my fevers are a good deal abated, though my pains grow rather worse, and my sleep equally disturbed; what effect the waters may have upon me I cannot say at present, as I expect nothing from the air -- this certainly must be unhealthy...."

8/30/61 -- PS to Green letter:

"I think myself benefitted from the water and am not without hope of their making a cure for me - a little time will show now." WGW-F. 2:364